Walt Mossberg Praises iBook On CNBC & In Wall Street Journal

Walt Mossberg has once again come out swinging for Apple by singing the praises of the companyis new iBook. Mr. Mossberg is a technology commentator for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), and in this weekis column for that publication he reviewed the new iBook. Mr. Mossberg also appeared on CNBC Thursday morning to reiterate his positive comments on the consumer portable on the financial network. According to Observer Kevin, Mr. Mossberg repeatedly referred to the iBook as "powerful" during his appearance on CNBC, something he didnit emphasize as such in his written column. From Mr. Mossbergis WSJ column:

This month, Apple fixed all that with a totally revised iBook that shares nothing with its predecessor. Instead, it looks like the little brother of the companyis spectacular top-of-the-line Titanium PowerBook. It has a much better blend of features that will appeal to home consumers and students.

At 4.9 pounds with a full complement of ports and a CD or DVD drive, the new iBook is the lightest, smallest full-featured consumer portable Iive seen. Itis also priced reasonably, from $1,299 to $1,799, depending on what kind of removable disk drive you want.

AS ALWAYS, Apple has gone for a striking design statement here. In a world of big, heavy, black laptops designed for home and campus use, Apple has created a svelte but robust machine with a snow-white skin encased in a clear plastic coating. It looks like a big ice cube, and fans on Internet message boards have already dubbed it the IceBook.

For all that extra size and weight, the Toshiba has almost nothing on the iBook except a larger screen -- 14.1 inches vs. 12.1 inches on the iBook. Even then, the iBook actually displays more text on the screen because of its higher video resolution. The iBookis smaller screen means it fits better on airplanes, and Apple has enhanced this advantage with a clever and sturdy hinge that drops the bottom edge of the laptopis cover below the level of the keyboard when itis open.

The iBook also creams the Toshiba on battery life. Apple claims the new iBook can go five hours between charges, and my own tests indicated youid likely get about four hours doing typical tasks. Toshiba claims a pitiful two hours for the Satellite 2805-S302. The Toshiba also has only a DVD drive, while the similarly priced iBook has a combo DVD and CD-RW drive.

Mr. Mossberg does say that the iBookis casing allows it to pick up scratches and fingerprints rather easily, and he criticized the 10 GB drive the unit defaults to as being undersized. He says that for a portable that is being touted for its digital video editing capabilities, the default drive doesnit really allow for much editing at all due to the enormous file size of raw digital video. There is much more in the column that we did not quote, and we recommend that you check it out. Thanks to Observer Kevin for his assistance with this article.